Community meetings designed to hear parent, resident wishes for Bond projects

Parents, family members, friends and residents in each of the 2016 Bond project areas are invited to learn where each of the 13 projects stand, while also having the opportunity to provide feedback in a series of community meetings designed to engage the people who are directly impacted by the Bond program. Architects working on the San Antonio ISD Bond 2016 program have the tools they need to create the next chapter in the District’s history, and they will look for further insight from the community to make the projects come alive.

“The goal of the 2016 Bond Program is to provide ‘Future Ready’ learning environments that extend beyond the classroom that are fresh, engaging, and flexible where students, teachers, and staff are excited to participate in the educational process,” said Willie Burroughs, chief operating officer at SAISD. “I’d like to thank the SAISD community for believing in and supporting the success of our students.”

The first of the community meetings is Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Jefferson High School. The project is unique in that architects have the task of preserving the school’s historic features, such as the cafeteria and library, while at the same time focusing on providing an engaging, 21st century learning environment. That includes creating bigger classroom and research spaces, a common theme across a number of Bond projects.

“Community meetings represent the unveiling of what District staff, architects, and contractors have been developing as design concepts and schematics with input from campus staff and project advisory teams, Citizen Advisory Committee, board members, and various District departments,” said Kamal ElHabr, associate superintendent for construction services. “It is an opportunity to also receive input from our community before we finalize the plans and start construction.”

Soon the communities in the other project areas will have the chance to lend their voices to their projects as well. The meetings include the following dates (with just a few more to be confirmed):

  • Jefferson High School | Sept. 12 | 6 p.m. | Student Union Building, next to the cafeteria
  • Irving Dual Language Academy | Sept. 14 | 5:30 p.m. | Library
  • Tafolla Middle School | Sept. 19 | 6 p.m. | Library
  • J.T. Brackenridge Elementary School | Sept. 20 | 4:30 p.m. | Cafeteria
  • Burbank High School | Sept. 20 | 6 p.m. | Cafeteria
  • Lanier High School | Sept. 25 | 6:30 p.m. | Library
  • Edison High School | Sept. 26 | 5 p.m. | Cafeteria
  • Davis Middle School | Sept. 29 | 11 a.m. | Cafeteria (in conjunction with the East Side Education Summit at Sam Houston)
  • Sam Houston High School | Sept. 29 | 1 p.m. | Cafeteria (in conjunction with the East Side Education Summit at Sam Houston)
  • Rogers Middle School | Oct. 10 | 5 p.m. | Cafeteria
  • Fox Tech High School | Oct. 11 | 5:30 p.m. | Senior Dining Room
  • Bowden Academy | Oct. 16 | 5:30 p.m. | Library
  • Brackenridge High School | Oct. 17 | 5:30 p.m. | Library

With each project adding its own unique flair, from preservation of murals to building a completely new building, the Bond 2016 program aims to take SAISD to a new level in terms of providing the physical space in which to learn, accompanying Superintendent Pedro Martinez’s vision for raising the level of academic success already being experienced across the District.

“I am excited for the opportunity to define the next generation learning environments in SAISD,” said Kedrick Wright, director of planning and construction. “The overarching theme we are exploring across all of the projects is using the whole building as a teaching tool: learning does not just happen in the classroom. We are introducing spaces outside of the classroom where learning and exploration can take place. These are spaces for individual learning, small and large group learning. Spaces such as learning stairs, small group rooms and breakout spaces: all with connectivity and technology to prepare our next generation of leaders for the future.”

So far, the Bond projects have been going through a preliminary process of review through several committees, which include campus-wide meetings with each school’s principal, board trustee, project advisory team (PAT) members, and other various staff members. The Bond 2016’s Citizens Advisory Committee, consisting of trustee-appointed members, has also been meeting regularly since early 2017 to help guide the design process.